You can use fresh or canned pineapple in Very Merry Punch. (Ken Burris / EatingWell)
There was a time when every household had its own recipe for spiced hot-wine punch. Folks would roam from house to house testing each one. With the blend of flavors in this punch, revelers might never move on to other houses on the block.
Very Merry Punch
1 ½ cups water
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 (750-ml) bottles hearty red wine, preferably cabernet sauvignon
1 apple, sliced
1 orange, halved and sliced
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
4 whole star anise
½cup orange Curacao
Place water and brown sugar in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Add wine, apple, orange, pineapple and star anise. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in orange Curacao and cook for 5 minutes more. Discard star anise. Serve the punch in heat-safe wineglasses or coffee cups, spooning a little fruit into each glass. Makes 12 servings, about ¾ cup each.
Per serving: 199 calories; 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 0 percent calories from fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 11 mg sodium; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber.